Ten Things We Learned in Week 1 (Fantasy Football)
Football is back! Week 1 has now come and gone, and we can sit back and take in what we got to see and learn from the games. There is always so much anticipation heading into Week 1 because we don’t know which players may have specific roles and how teams will perform, but now we have an idea of what to expect. In this article series, I will dive into ten storylines for fantasy football and what we learned each week.
With that said, let’s dive into what we learned in Week 1!
1. Darrell Henderson Could Be A Gem
Cam Akers was an afterthought in Week 1, as Darrell Henderson took over as the primary back. Henderson out-touched Akers 18-3, and five of those touches were receptions. Henderson rushed 13 times for 47 yards and caught 5-of-5 targets for 26 yards. Akers had three rushing attempts for zero yards. As of now, Henderson will be a steal for fantasy purposes, as managers likely got him late in the draft, and he should be a big part of the offense in Week 2 against Atlanta. On the other hand, Akers cannot be trusted in fantasy lineups until proven otherwise.
2. Allen Robinson May Cause Pain For Fantasy Managers Again
Fantasy managers who drafted Allen Robinson also feel the pain as he was non-existent in Week 1. Robinson caught 1-of-2 targets for 12 yards. A 4.9% target share was disappointing, to say the least, as Tyler Higbee was a more significant part of the offense, receiving 11 targets. While looking at the film, it seems that Robinson was open several times, but he will be a risky start now. He will have his weeks, but the hope of an Allen Robinson resurgence may be lost.
3. Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill Will Work Out Just Fine On New Teams
Superstar wide receivers Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill found a new home for the 2022 season and were a big part of their team’s offense in Week 1. There were many questions about how they may fare on a new team, but it’s safe to say they did just fine.
Davante Adams reunited with his old college quarterback, Derek Carr, and caught 10-of-17 targets for 141 yards and a touchdown. Adams had a 48.6% target share in his first game as a Raider, and Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow both had six targets. Any concern that Adams may not see similar volume in Las Vegas as he did in Green Bay should now be gone.
Tyreek Hill also performed well on his new team, catching 8-of-12 targets for 94 yards. Hill had a 38.7% target share and had seven more targets than Jaylen Waddle. Hill has had a history of being up and down even in Kansas City, but seeing a strong performance in his first game as a Dolphin should give fantasy managers confidence that he was worth a high draft pick.
4. Aaron Rodgers Misses Davante Adams
While Adams was flourishing for the Raiders, Rodgers was struggling without him. The Packers lost to the Vikings 23-7, and Aaron Rodgers did not have a touchdown pass. Rodgers completed 22-of-34 pass attempts for 195 yards and threw an interception. He likely would have had a better day in his defense, but some dropped passes prevented that. Rookie wide receiver Christian Watson, had a deep pass that he dropped that likely would have been a score. Rodgers scored his lowest fantasy output since Week 1 of last season. Maybe there is hope he can turn it around, but Rodgers may struggle with his new receivers in the post-Adams era.
5. The Bills’ Running Back Situation Will Be Hard To Predict
The Bills’ running back situation was something to monitor in Week 1, and it seems like the Bills’ backfield may be something to avoid. Devin Singletary looked great in the opener with his opportunities, rushing for 48 yards on eight attempts. Singletary also caught two passes for 14 yards. Zack Moss was a surprise and was active in the offense, rushing six times for 15 yards and catching 6-of-6 targets for 21 yards. James cook fumbled on his first career carry, and that was it for him. The Bills’ running backs will be hard to trust in your lineup, as it seems like a full-blown committee, with Josh Allen likely taking away from all of them. James Cook may be worth cutting soon if he doesn’t carve out a role. If Zack Moss continues to be a pass catcher, he will be an interesting play in PPR scoring. Devin Singletary is the best running back on the team, but even in this high-scoring offense, he comes with risk because the Bills seem to want to spread the ball around.
6. Saquon is Back
One of the league’s most dynamic running backs seems to be back to form after Week 1. Saquon Barkley had an unfortunate run with injuries the last couple of years, but he had a tremendous start to the 2022 season. Barkley had 18 rushing attempts for 164 yards and a touchdown and caught 6-of-7 targets for 30 yards. Per JJ Zachariason on Twitter, Barkley had the highest target share for a running back, by far, and had his second-highest single-game target share of his career. As of writing this article, he is the RB1 in Week 1 and should be considered a locked-and-loaded RB1 in your lineup weekly.
Saquon Barkley had by far the highest target share at running back this week at 33.3%. That's the second-highest single-game target share of his career.
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) September 11, 2022
7. James Robinson Looks Good
There are no words for how surprising James Robinson‘s return to football in Week 1 and how he performed with the opportunity. The Achilles injury has been a career-ender for many running backs before him. We have yet to see Cam Akers return to his old self, and many other running backs out there never entirely produced to the level they once did after recovery. Robinson had 11 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown and caught 1-of-2 targets for a touchdown. He is currently the RB8 in Week 1. Robinson may be one of the draft’s biggest steals, should his usage continue.
Robinson will also take away from Travis Etienne. Etienne only saw four carries but did look good on his way to 47 rushing yards. He caught 2-of-4 targets for 18 yards. Etienne is an explosive weapon on the ground and through the air, but he will be hard to trust going forward if Robinson is already playing at this level post Achilles injury.
8. It May Be A While for Breece Hall To Take Over
The New York Jets heavily involved running backs Michael Carter and rookie Breece Hall in Week 1. Carter had ten carries for 60 yards and caught 7-of-9 targets for 40 yards. Hall had six carries for 23 yards and caught 6-of-10 targets for 38 yards. Carter had the clear edge in Week 1 in rushing volume, but Hall had the most targets on the team. The Jets may not give Hall the keys right away, but if he continues to see volume through the air, he should still be viable for fantasy. He also has the potential to take the job over and could be a buy-low option for fantasy managers to consider.
9. Diontae Johnson Still Commands Targets
Fantasy managers were scared off of Diontae Johnson for 2022 due to Ben Roethlisberger retiring. The uncertainty of Johnson’s role in the offense had much to do with that. It turns out he is good enough to earn a high target share, no matter who the quarterback is. Johnson caught 7-of-12 targets for 55 yards, so the stat line wasn’t special. He did, however, have a 32.4% target share. Johnson will continue to be an integral part of the Steelers’ offense and should be trusted in lineups due to volume alone.
10. Khalil Herbert May Take Work Away From David Montgomery
When David Montgomery was injured last season, we saw a glimpse of what Khalil Herbert may be able to offer the Bears’ offense. It looks like he will have a solid role this season if Week 1 is any indication. Montgomery had more volume, but Herbert was much more efficient. Montgomery had 17 carries for 26 yards and three receptions for 24 yards, and Herbert rushed nine times and had 45 yards and a touchdown. Per JJ Zachariason, Montgomery did not receive a goal-line carry, while Herbert had two. Herbert may earn more volume, hindering Montgomery’s fantasy value going forward.